Ian Chappell, the former Australia captain, has said that India should look at a five-bowler combination for the fourth and final Test against Australia in Sydney with three quicks and two spinners. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Chappell said that the India attack lacked an allrounder like Shane Watson who could pitch in with 10-12 overs in a game.
India opted for a four-man attack in the first three Tests of the series with Karn Sharma the sole specialist spinner in Adelaide and R Ashwin replacing him for Brisbane and Melbourne. According to Chappell, left-arm spinner Akshar Patel could also be an option for India, depending on the team's assessment of his potential and readiness. Akshar was brought in to the squad in place of Ravindra Jadeja, who returned home after injuring his shoulder.
"I probably favour a 3-0 result. I think what India have got to do, I don't know if they've got the players to do it, but I think they could go with an attack of three quickies and two spinners," Chappell said. "I don't know much about Patel who has come out to replace Jadeja, but I think if they can go for three quickies and two spinners, that would be the right combination for Sydney.
"If they think Patel's got some potential, maybe that's the time to get him in because I think they haven't got anyone unlike Australia who have had Mitchell Marsh and you've got Shane Watson, who can give you eight, 10, 12 overs in a game. If Mitchell Marsh is there with Shane Watson, you can get more. India don't have anyone that can do that. They've got a couple of part-timers, but nothing serious. I think they've probably got to come up with the combination of five bowlers and the combination has got to be three quicks, two spinners."
Chappell also said that India's bowling strategies could be hampering the attack from consistently bowling good deliveries.
"I think they have a chance (to take 20 wickets) but they're not given the proper chance. I'm not sure of the consistency and the ability to consistently bowl good balls," he said. "But some of the things they're being asked to do don't allow them to be consistent. When you're being asked to bang the thing into the track regularly, and suddenly you've got to bowl good line and length, that's not an easy thing to do. You know, a guy like Glenn McGrath, who was known for his accuracy, found that a very difficult thing to do. For inexperienced bowlers, it's almost impossible.
"If India look back on the first three Test matches, they've made 400 in the first innings in each match. Now if you do that, particularly when touring Australia, it's not an easy thing to do. And you haven't won a Test match, then you start to think, well, the bowlers are not really doing their job, but certainly they've batted well enough at times. Obviously, there have been late collapses. But they've batted well at times enough to at least get one win in the series but they have nothing to show for it."